TALK TO THE ANIMALS!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: September 9, 2023

Rocky Jacobsen is the greatest Bull Bugler and caller that I know. He is full of every sound, bark, chuckle, chirp, squeal, and bugle that elk makes. 

Rocky designed the revolutionary dome shaped diaphragm call. This call makes lifelike sounds. Learning to use a mouth call takes some practice but no other call makes the same perfect sounds. Rocky also makes a Bugling Bull amplifying tube that will increase the volume of the call and mimic the long trachea resonance only produced by a tube or cone shaped call. These calls are available at Bob Wards and other sporting goods stores or from the Bugling Bull website. 

When learning to call elk, Rocky preaches that you need to “tell a story”. Your calling must have a purpose. Every sound has a sound that the elk will recognize. If you don’t know what you are saying, imitate what you are hearing. 

More calls are not necessarily better. Louder calls may not be as good as softer calls. Less calling can be better than more calling. Call with purpose and listen for a response. Many callers are just making noise. Some of the greatest Bulls that I have talked with had lousy bugles, especially early in the season. Soft, inviting, and sexy will often yield better results. 

The response you hear may not be what you expect. Sometimes a loud bugle may be answered but a chuckle, squeal, or bark. There are times where you may just hear limbs /antlers raking on a tree. On one occasion, I heard water splashing and what sounded like a dog shaking off water, after jumping in a lake. It was a bull stepping out of a wallow. His antlers were throwing mud and grass. He was just 50 yards away. 

Rarely do I call in a full, long, loud bugle. Bulls may make full bugles early and late but bulls that answer loud, long bugles have been removed from the gene pool. It seems like everyone is using calls to make screaming bugles or Hoochie Mama chirps. The elk have figured that out. 

It’s ok to make mistakes when talking to elk. Learning from them is vital. Calling is just one part of a successful hunt. Scent, scouting, wind, and so much more are required to fill a tag. If you fail, figure out why and don’t do it again. Sloppy calling is not always the reason you go bull less. Bad luck can turn quickly if you learn from your mistakes and don’t dwell on a screw up. 

Have a conversation!

Montana Grant

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